'We have everything in common': Shia LaBeouf says he shares 'perfectionist and narcissistic' character traits with John McEnroe as he begins shooting tennis film

He's stared shooting his new movie in Sweden.

And according to Shia LaBeouf, he and his latest subject, tennis legend John McEnroe, have a lot more in common than you might think.

The Hollywood star has told Variety that he shares a number of character traits with the notoriously fiery sportsman, whose rivalry with Bjorn Borg is being portrayed in a new movie from Danish filmmaker Janus Metz Pederson.

Similarities: Shia LaBeouf has revealed just how similar he is to tennis ace John McEnroe, who he is playing in a new movie
Similarities: Shia LaBeouf has revealed just how similar he is to tennis ace John McEnroe, who he is playing in a new movie

Similarities: Shia LaBeouf has revealed just how similar he is to tennis ace John McEnroe, who he is playing in a new movie

Shia, 29, has explained that he always tries to find common ground with real life people he plays on screen. 

'You look for parallels in your life, and I'm lucky because there is a lot here,' he explains to Variety, adding when asked what he and John have in common: 

'Everything. Passionate. Perfectionist. Narcissistic. I'm a bit of a caricature also.'

Major role: The  star, pictured on set in Sweden, has told Variety that he shares a number of character traits with the notoriously fiery sportsman, whose rivalry with Bjorn Borg is being portrayed in the new movie

Major role: The star, pictured on set in Sweden, has told Variety that he shares a number of character traits with the notoriously fiery sportsman, whose rivalry with Bjorn Borg is being portrayed in the new movie

Speaking about his passion for Pederson's script, Shia said the story touched him emotionally. 

'The script is brilliant. We are all here because of that,' he says. 'I cried the first time I read it. It's not based on a book or a biography. It's based on hard work.'

While Shia has yet to meet the man himself, he has been transformed into the tennis star, with his brown locks styled into a perm when he was spotted on set earlier this month.

Putting his heart into it: Shia, 29, has explained that he always tries to find common ground with real life people he plays on screen

Putting his heart into it: Shia, 29, has explained that he always tries to find common ground with real life people he plays on screen

The actor joins up and comer Sverrir Gudnason who will play Swedish icon Borg in the film, which centres around their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off, widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis matches in history.

The pair were completely opposite in their playing styles with McEnroe becoming known for tantrums and emotional outbursts on the court while Borg was calm and emotionless.

The players met 14 times on the regular tour and 22 times in total.

Their rivalry extended between 1978 and 1981, with each player winning seven times against the other. Because of their contrasting personalities, their rivalry was described as "Fire and Ice".

Icons: Swedish tennis icon Bjorn Borg (pictured) and McRoe’s rivalry certainly did reach cinematic levels, with their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis matches in history
Icons: Swedish tennis icon Bjorn Borg and McRoe’s (pictured) rivalry certainly did reach cinematic levels, with their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis matches in history

Icons: Swedish tennis icon Bjorn Borg and McRoe’s rivalry certainly did reach cinematic levels, with their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis matches in history

In 1980 McEnroe reached the men's singles final at Wimbledon for the first time, where he faced Borg, who was aiming for an Open Era record fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

In a fourth set tie-breaker that lasted 20 minutes, McEnroe saved five match points (seven altogether in that set) and eventually won 18–16. However, he was unable to break Borg's serve in the fifth set and the Swede went on to win 8–6.

McEnroe exacted his revenge by defeating Borg at the US Open final the same year in five sets.

In 1981 McEnroe returned to Wimbledon and again faced Borg in the men's singles final. This time it was the American who prevailed and defeated Borg to end the Swede's run of 41 straight match victories at the All England Club. 

Rising star: The actor joins up and comer Sverrir Gudnason who will play Swedish icon Borg in the film, which centres around their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off

Rising star: The actor joins up and comer Sverrir Gudnason who will play Swedish icon Borg in the film, which centres around their 1980 Wimbledon final face-off

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